Plum Jam – Canning Recipe

Plums are such a neat fruit. Sweet, juicy and tart – all in a round little package.  We’ve gotten a ton of them in our fruit and veggie boxes lately and my friend has a plum-tree that’s loaded with hundreds of them – really, I just couldn’t help myself.  I had to make some plum jam.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

My least favorite chore of making any jam is the pitting, peeling and chopping of the fruit.  Plums might be about my least favorite because the skin tends to slide right off with any pressure, the fruit tends to mush with any pressure, and that pit tries to cling to at least half of the flesh and it always makes a mess trying to get it out.  While I still make a mess, this is the method that I found to work the best to pit a plum.

This recipe makes 8 half-pint sized jars of beautiful jewel-red plum jam.

Plum Jam


Plum Jam

6 cups pitted, chopped plums

1/2 c. water

7 c. sugar

1 (1.75oz) package of pectin

1 Tbs lemon juice

Small pat of butter, optional (this helps keep foaming to a minimum)


-Sterilize your canning jars, lids and rings in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.  Sometimes, I will run them through the dishwasher on its highest heat setting and keep them nice and hot in there until the jam is ready to go in them.  

-Fill your water bath canner (or a large pot) over halfway with water and heat to boiling while you’re making the jam.  Make sure you’ve got a rack sitting at the bottom of your canner.

-Measure out all of your sugar into a bowl to have it ready to dump in all at once to the fruit.  It’s important to do this so you can get it all in at once.

-Combine plums and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until plums are soft and easily mashed.

-If you prefer large chunks in your jam, you can just lightly mash the plums with a masher.

-If you’re like me, and don’t want large chunks of tart plum skins in your jam, you can run the mixture through your blender or food processor until it’s smooth.

Such a pretty red color!
Such a pretty red color!

-Return the plum purée to the pot and add in the pectin, lemon juice and butter.  Return to a boil.

-Add the sugar all at once and bring to a full, rolling boil.  Boil it, while whisking constantly, for 1 minute.  Once the minute is done, take the pan off of the heat.

-Scrape off any foam from the top.  We like to put it on a plate and then spread it on bread or tortillas to eat right away.  It definitely doesn’t go to waste!

-Pack the jam into your hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/8″ of headroom at the top.

-Wipe the tops of the jars with a clean cloth to make sure there’s no jam on them.

-Place lids and rings on top of the jars and tighten them with fingertip pressure only.  You don’t want to over tighten these.  Just make sure they’re secure without really screwing them on hard.

-Lower the filled jars into the boiling water in your canner and make sure that the water covers you jars by at least 1″.  Add hot water if necessary to raise it to the proper level.

-Bring the water back to a boil and process jars for 10 minutes.

-Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel-covered surface to cool.  Let cool for about 24 hours before moving to a storage area.

-The lids should all be flat without a dimple sticking up in the middle.  If any jar lids can be pushed up and down, it didn’t seal properly and that jar should go right to the fridge and used first.  It’s fine to eat but you don’t want to try to store it long-term.

Plum Jam








  1. I recently made some plum jam as well. I used cherry plums which are very small and hard to remove the pits. I cooked the plums, then tried running them through my Victorio food mill. The pits clogged the mill. Then I let them cool down enough that I could handle them and ended up sorting through with my fingers to remove the pits. The jam is delicious but was a lot of work.

  2. Hi Emily, the jam sounds wondrful. I’m wondering if you couldn’t put it all through the foly mill like you do applesauce? The consistency would be thinner but it would save a lot of work peeling, coring, etc. Just a thought.

    1. I’ve heard mixed opinions on using a foley mill ChrisDee. It seems that the pits can clog it up. If you give it a try – let me know how it goes!

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